Java SQL

Limit PostgreSQL table size with a trigger and Java JDBC

In this tutorial, we will explain how to easily limit the size of a PostgreSQL table (by size we mean number of rows). To achieve this, we will create a trigger on the table via Java JDBC. The trigger will be atomically executed after each SQL insert, and the insert that causes the trigger to throw an exception will be rolled back. Create a file called trigger.sql in your Java resources folder, with the following content (replace $table and $max with your own values):

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION check_number_of_row()
     IF (SELECT COUNT(*) FROM $table) >= $max THEN
        RAISE EXCEPTION 'Table is full';
        return NEW;
     END IF;
$$ LANGUAGE plpgsql;

CREATE TRIGGER tr_check_number_of_row
FOR EACH ROW EXECUTE PROCEDURE check_number_of_row();

Load the sql file in Java:

InputStream is = getClass().getClassLoader().getResourceAsStream("trigger.sql");
String sql = new String(is.readAllBytes(), StandardCharsets.UTF_8);

Then, starting from a java.sql.Connection object to your PostgreSQL database, create the trigger with the following code:

java.sql.Connection connection;

Statement stmt = connection.createStatement();

To test the trigger, you can try to insert more rows than $max into the table via JDBC. You should get the following exception:

ERROR: Table is full
  Where: PL/pgSQL function check_number_of_row() line 4 at RAISE

The latest inserted row that violates the trigger table size limit is then rolled back. Hence, we have the guarantee that the table size never exceeds the size limit $max. Finally, in Postgres (see bottom of the page):

Functions and trigger procedures are always executed within a transaction

so we won’t have concurrency problems if multiple insertions happen concurrently.

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